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Sola Sound Tonebender MK II
General Specs
Features: Top Panel: Level, Attack, Footswitch Toggle - Back Panel: Input Jack, Output Jack
Years in use: ca. 1966-June 1969, August 1971, ca. 1998
Website:
The Sola Sound Tonebender MK II was first used when Jimmy Page switched over from the 1964 Epiphone Rivoli EB232 Bass in the Yardbirds on August 25, 1966.

In a December 1968 issue of the Hit Parader, Page briefly discussed his Tonebender.

Hit Parader: What's the unusual device you use on your guitar?
Page: It's called a Tone Bender. I had somebody custom make it for me and I get 75% of my sound with it. It's very similar to a fuzzbox, but I can sustain notes for several minutes if I want to. It just has an on and off switch and it also has a fuzzy sound. It's not manufactured at all. A friend of mine made it by hand for me. (Ed note: guitarists interested in buying the "Jimmy Page Tonebender" may write to Gary Hurst, Macaris Musical Exchange, 100 Charing Cross Rd., London, W.C.2, England. the price is around $35.00).

Page also used the Tonebender in Led Zeppelin up until June 1969, although, a one-off appearance was made on August 7, 1971 in Montreux, Switzerland. Listening to the audio recording from that night indicates a typical Page tone from that era, so it is unknown if the Tonebender was actually employed that evening.

The Tonebender was last used in 1998 in the guitar solo for the title track on Walking In Clarksdale, however it stopped working during these sessions.

A reissue Tonebender MK II was seen in a segment on 2008's It Might Get Loud.

Photos

Sola Sound Tonebender MK II
The Yardbirds, March 9, 1968, Bouton Rouge TV Programme, Maison de Radio-France, Paris, France
Sola Sound Tonebender MK II
Led Zeppelin, March 17, 1969, TV Byen, Gladsaxe, Denmark
Sola Sound Tonebender MK II
Led Zeppelin, August 8, 1971
Sola Sound Tonebender MK II
from It Might Get Loud, ca. 2008
Sola Sound Tonebender MK II
from It Might Get Loud, ca. 2008
Sola Sound Tonebender MK II
1968 Advertisement
Sola Sound Tonebender MK II
Receipt for Jimmy Page's Tonebender

Resources and Information:

http://www.stompboxes.co.uk/History.html
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This Month in
Led Zeppelin History

October xx, 1968 - Led Zeppelin is recorded
October 19, 1968 - Final performance as the New Yardbirds
October 31, 1969 - Led Zeppelin II is released in the US
October 17, 1969 - Bonham is thrilled to play Carnegie Hall where Buddy Rich and Gene Krupa have performed
October 23, 1970 - Led Zeppelin III is released in the US
October xx, 1970 - The press lash out at the band over the Led Zeppelin III acoustic content
October xx, 1971 - Page and Plant venture around Thailand and India after the Japan tour
October 18, 1972 - Zeppelin rehearse at the Rainbow Theater for a UK tour
October xx, 1973 - Each member performs an individual film sequence for their concept film
October 31, 1974 - Swan Song hosts a party for the launch of its UK division
October xx, 1975 - Led Zeppelin decide not to tour and concentrate on recording new material
October 20, 1976 - The Song Remains The Same premieres at New York’s Cinema One
October xx, 1977 - Jimmy starts assembling a Led Zeppelin live album from recordings as far back as 1969
October xx, 1978 - Jones and Bonham record with Paul McCartney at Abbey Road Studios
October xx, 1978 - Rehearsals for In Through The Out Door in London
October xx, 1979 - All nine Led Zeppelin albums enter the Billboards Top 200 -- no other band has ever achieved this
October 10, 1980 - A private funeral is held for John Bonham at Rushock church in Worcestershire
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